Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Benefits of Being Adopted by the Spirit--The Winter Camp Sessions Part 2

Before I kick this little party off, just a little "shameless" plea: Facebook has changed their algorithm, which is just a fancy way of explaining why your posts (and mine) are being shown to less people. Apparently, FB wants to make some monaaay. 

In order to curb that, I'm creating a group of key readers, who'd be willing (for the small reward of a little Starbucks coming your way) to commit to sharing my blog posts on your Facebook page (and any of the social networks you use) for the next few months...to see if it helps. If you are interested in being a part of the Shameless Dream Team (we can totally come up with another name) just let me know in the comment section below. I'll follow up with details! Thanks!   

And now for the main event...continuing my series on the Holy Spirit from CF Winter Camp…

This is a condensed version and was written for some amazing junior high and high school students. Sooooooo, If you’d prefer I come preach these messages to you in your kitchen, my only requirement is mucho coffee with french vanilla creamer. And that you don’t judge me for being in my pajamas.

 If you missed session one, you can find it here.

I asked my friend Sabrina to make this video. She and her family are adopting from Haiti. If you have a second, check this out—you might need some Kleenex!


video


This is pretty obvious, but when Sabrina's family completes their adoption process, they'll have a document stating their boy is officially, legally, and forever, a member of their family. 

In the same way, the Holy Spirit acts as your adoption certificate—like an unbreakable piece of paperofficially and forever claiming you as God's child. 

In Ephesians 1, the Holy Spirit is also known as a seal. It says, “You, having believed the gospel, that Jesus is your salvation, were marked with a seal—the promised Holy Spirit.”

The book of Esther tells us that no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his seal can ever be revoked. 

In other words, when you believe the gospel, the Holy Spirit acts as the irrevocable sign that you belong to God. He marks you as God's daughter or son. 

As a result, you never have to be afraid that you’ll do something to lose God’s love or presence. No matter how far you’ve run from Him, no matter what you’ve done or haven’t done, when you are adopted into the family of God, nothing can ever change that.

Being adopted into God’s family comes with unending blessings and benefits. Romans 8 mentions a few. 

As a member of God’s family:

1.       The Holy Spirit resides in you.
2.       The Holy Spirit releases you from captivity to fear.
3.       The Holy Spirit reminds you that God is your daddy.
4.       The Holy Spirit reassures you of your future hope.
5.       The Holy Spirit requests God’s help on your behalf.

#1 The Holy Spirit Resides in You. “You are not controlled by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit if the Spirit lives in you.”Romans 8:9  

The incredible thing about the Spirit of God is that He doesn’t come in and take over, like suddenly you’re this host of an alien life form. John, in the New Testament, actually calls the Holy Spirit a Counselor. He is a gentle comforter. He guides, encourages, and at the same time, helps you overcome sin. His presence gives your life freedom and joy.

In 1st Kings, Solomon, the son of King David, finished building a temple and prayed that God’s presence would be there. The Lord appeared to Solomon saying, “I have heard the prayer you made before me, and so I have made this temple holy. I have put my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."

The temple became the place God's people would go to experience His presence. For those of us who are followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit resides in us and makes our bodies the new temple. We no longer have to go someplace special to be with God—His presence is in us. God’s name, God’s eyes, God’s heart, and God’s Spirit are in you forever.

#2 The Holy Spirit releases you from captivity to fear. You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear…”—Romans 8:15

When I was a kid, one of my biggest fears was bringing in the garbage cans alone at night. But, the moment my mom or dad was with me, I knew I could do it.  As a daughter or son of the King, whatever you fear, you don’t have to face it alone. 

It’s not that you won’t ever be afraid in life. The Holy Spirit doesn’t totally remove all your fears. But, His presence in your life sets you free from them, releases you from them, so that fear has no control over you. Even in death, we don’t have to be afraid because if the Holy Spirit is in us, death is just the thing that leads us to being with Jesus in glory forever!

#3 The Holy Spirit reminds you that God is your daddy. “…but you received the Spirit of Sonship and Daughtership—and by the Spirit we cry ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies that we are God’s children.” –Romans 8:15

The creator and controller of the entire universe is our daddy. That's a pretty incredible thought. Most Christians explain "Abba" as being similar to the way my youngest son says, “Dada.”  Abba is basically baby talk; it’s like a child’s way of saying “daddy.”

I heard pastor Tim Keller say something like this a few years ago and I didn’t "get" it until I became a mom. As a parent, my love is stirred when my kids are hurting. It’s not like I love them more when they need me. But, when they are sad or sick or hurting, my love is intensified. I do whatever I can to comfort and help them.

When we feel far away from God, when we’ve messed up, when things at home or school or work are difficult, the Holy Spirit reminds us that God is our loving daddy. Because we belong to Him, we can go to him for anything in confidence--as His child, you can be assured that He’ll respond to you with the type of love a daddy has for his baby in need. 

#4—The Holy Spirit reassures you of your future hope. “Now if we are children then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” —Romans 8:17

Christ suffered-no more so than on the cross- where he was ridiculed and abused to the point of death.  As Christians, we will suffer. We’ve admittedly got it pretty easy here in the states, but all of us can say we’ve experienced painful seasons of life, times when we’ve questioned our faith and doubted the goodness of God. While we’ll probably never become people who get super excited when life is hard, we can, in the middle of our suffering, be assured that it is all leading to glory.

When we suffer, we suffer with hope, because we know that we have an inheritance greater than any earthly treasure. 

Our inheritance is Christ himself, to be with Him forever and to share in His kingdom. 

#5 (I was gonna say The Holy Spirit prays for you, but I was excited about how the “R” verbs were rolling out. Hence the following.) The HS requests God’s help on your behalf. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”—Romans 8: 26

When we cry out to God—even when we don’t have the right words, when we don’t know what or how to pray, the Holy Spirit HIMSELF prays on our behalf. This includes the times we pray for stupid things. For example: When I was 16, I thought I was so in love with this guy, and we dated on and off until I was about to go to college. I prayed and prayed and prayed that he wouldn’t break up with me, that we’d stay together forever.

Romans 8 is saying that that the Holy Spirit went to God and communicated with Him—I don’t know how that happens— Romans says it’s in groans that words cannot express.  For our sake, we’ll say it’s English.

The Holy Spirit says to the Father, "This is what Aubrey is praying. This is what she thinks is right, but I’ve searched her heart, and I know the true cry of her heart is not for this guy. The true cry of her heart is actually for You, Lord."

And guess what? God gave me what I really needed by ending that relationship. It was so painful at the time. However, had I ended up with him, it would have been a disaster. And, during that season, I grew much closer to God. 

Because of the Holy Spirit’s prayer ministry on your behalf, you are so loved and protected that God gives you what you should be asking for if you knew the endgame. He gives what you are supposed to be praying for. If it feels like your prayers are not coming true, it could be because the Holy Spirit is praying on your behalf for what you really need.



If anything is keeping you from experiencing these benefits—your own lack of faith, an addiction, anger, stress, a dream-deferred, doubts, a secret, your pride, a toxic relationship, a difficult season of life... I could keep listing things and we’re all going to get really depressed—you get the idea...Today, take a few minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to set you free so that you can truly experience His presence. Nothing can keep your Daddy from loving you, so rest assured He'll hear and help you. 

God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” 
–Romans 5:5




8 comments:

Suzanne and Adam said...

I want to be part of the Shameless dream team! See my private Facebook message! ;)

Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit direccts and guides; thanks Aubrey...Carrie

gaye parnell said...

Aubs, I would love to be part of the Shameless Dream Team. However, you know I will need detailed instructions!
Gaye

Matt & Heather said...

I so appreciate your gift!! Where can I find the blog you wrote about bedtime with Eli? (Also the one you shared when you spoke on Mother's Day). It's one of my favorite stories to think about when I'm having a rough day...I want to share it with my Bible study group. Thanks Aubrey!

Aubrey Travis Sampson said...

Hey Heather-- I'll send you the link on FB. But you should be able to search on the side. Thanks for reading and sharing. Praise God!

Aubrey Travis Sampson said...

Gaye and Suzanne- thanks! I'll be in touch asap!

Catherine said...

Thanks for this, Aubrey

Ricki Bahadarakhann said...

I just saw this... Too late to be part of the Shameless Dream Team?